Joshua 13:22
Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 13:22. Were slain by them — This was recorded before, (Numbers 31:8,) and is here repeated, because the defeating of Balaam’s purpose to curse Israel, and the turning that curse into a blessing, was such an instance of the power and goodness of God, as was fit to be had in everlasting rememberance.13:7-33 The land must be divided among the tribes. It is the will of God that every man should know his own, and not take that which is another's. The world must be governed, not by force, but right. Wherever our habitation is placed, and in whatever honest way our portion is assigned, we should consider them as allotted of God; we should be thankful for, and use them as such, while every prudent method should be used to prevent disputes about property, both at present and in future. Joshua must be herein a type of Christ, who has not only conquered the gates of hell for us, but has opened to us the gates of heaven, and having purchased the eternal inheritance for all believers, will put them in possession of it. Here is a general description of the country given to the two tribes and a half, by Moses. Israel must know their own, and keep to it; and may not, under pretence of their being God's peculiar people, encroach on their neighbours. Twice in this chapter it is noticed, that to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance: see Nu 18:20. Their maintenance must be brought out of all the tribes. The ministers of the Lord should show themselves indifferent about worldly interests, and the people should take care they want nothing suitable. And happy are those who have the Lord God of Israel for their inheritance, though little of this world falls to their lot. His providences will supply their wants, his consolations will support their souls, till they gain heavenly joy and everlasting pleasures.Dukes of Sihon - Rather "vassals of Sihon," probably those "dedicated" or "appointed" with a libation.8. With whom—Hebrew, "him." The antecedent is evidently to Manasseh, not, however, the half-tribe just mentioned, but the other half; for the historian, led, as it were, by the sound of the word, breaks off to describe the possessions beyond Jordan already assigned to Reuben, Gad, and the half of Manasseh (see on [190]Nu 32:1; [191]Nu 32:33; also see De 3:8-17). It may be proper to remark that it was wise to put these boundaries on record. In case of any misunderstanding or dispute arising about the exact limits of each district or property, an appeal could always be made to this authoritative document, and a full knowledge as well as grateful sense obtained of what they had received from God (Ps 16:5, 6). The soothsayer; so he was in truth, though a prophet { 2 Peter 2:16} in title and profession. See Numbers 24:25. Balaam also, the son of Beor the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword,.... At the same time that the princes of Midian were slain, and which is also observed; see Gill on Numbers 31:8. Kimchi supposes that he returned to Midian, on hearing that the counsel he gave to them, to ensnare Israel with their daughters, had taken effect, in order to receive his wages, and so received his righteous doom and just reward; it is commonly said by the Jews (m), that he was slain by Phinehas:

among them that were slain by them; among the above princes, and the common soldiers, of which there was a great slaughter; even all the males of Midian were slain, Numbers 31:7.

(m) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 106. 2. Kimchi in loc.

{f} Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

(f) So that both they who obeyed wicked counsel and the wicked counsellor perished by the just judgment of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. Balaam also] The mention of these “vassals of Sihon” leads the historian to record also at this point the death of Balaam, which took place at the same time as that of these vassals (Numbers 31:8). He is here called a “soothsayer” (kosem); “the fals divynor” (Wyclif); like (a) the diviners of the Philistines (1 Samuel 6:2), and (b) the necromancers (1 Samuel 28:8-9) whom Saul had “cut off.”

The late Professor Blunt has drawn attention to the fact that (a) in the original mission to Balaam, the elders of Midian were concerned as much as the elders of Moab (Numbers 22:7); that all mention of Midian is then dropped, and “the princes of Balak” and “the servants of Balak” are the titles given to the messengers, and in the prophet’s fruitless struggle to curse the people whom God had blessed, Balak and the Moabites engrossed all his attention.

(b) Balaam then disappears, on his way apparently to his own country, Pethor in Mesopotamia (Numbers 24:25), while the historian pursues his narrative through several long chapters, which are taken up with entirely different matter.

(c) Then comes an account of an attack made upon the Midianites in revenge for their having seduced the people of Israel by the wiles of their women, at the close of which we find a notice that “Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword” (Numbers 31:8).

(d) It seems, then, that the Prophet did not after all immediately return to Mesopotamia, but paid a visit to the Midianites, who were equally concerned in bringing him where he was, and there suggested the enticements of the licentious orgies of Baal-Peor, into which Israel fell. But his stay was unseasonably protracted, and Moses coming upon the Midianites slew them and him together.

(e) Here an undesigned coincidence lies (a) in the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian going to Balaam; (b) in Midian being then mentioned no more, while Balaam having been sent away from Moab, apparently that he might go home, is subsequently found a corpse amongst the slaughtered Midianites. See Blunt’s Undesigned Coincidences, pp. 86, 87.Verse 22. - The soothsayer. Or diviner, one who pretended to foretell future events. Balaam, it would seem, instead of returning to his own land, went to visit the Midianites, whose elders had joined in the invitation given by Moab (Numbers 22:7), and persuaded them to entice the Israelites into idolatry and licentiousness (see Numbers 25.) For this crime he met with the punishment he had deserved, and was involved in the destruction which fell on the Midianites by God's express command, in consequence of their treachery (Numbers 25:16-18. See Blunt, 'Undesigned Coincidences,' Part I. 24.) The Possessions of the Two Tribes and a Half. - Joshua 13:15-23. The tribe of Reuben received its inheritance in the south-namely, the territory from Aror in the Arnon valley, and from Ar in that valley, onwards, and the plain (table-land) by Medeba (see Joshua 13:9), with Heshbon the capital and her towns, i.e., the towns dependent upon it, in the plain. Heshbon, almost in the centre between the Arnon and the Jabbok, was situated upon the border of the inheritance of the Reubenites, and was ceded to the Gadites, who gave it up to the Levites (Joshua 21:39; 1 Chronicles 6:66 : see at Numbers 32:37). Dibon, called Dibon of Gad in Numbers 33:45, because the Gadites had built, i.e., fortified it, was on the south of Heshbon, only an hour from Aror, on the Arnon (Joshua 13:9). Bamoth-baal, also called Bamoth simply (Numbers 21:20; Isaiah 15:2), is to be sought for on the Jebel Attarus (see at Numbers 21:20). It was thence that Balaam saw the end of the Israelitish camp (Numbers 22:41). Bethbaal-meon, the present ruin of Myun, three-quarters of an hour S.E. of Heshbon (see at Numbers 32:38). Jahza, where Sihon was defeated, was to the east of Medeba, according to the Onom.; and Dibon was on the border of the desert (see at Numbers 21:23). Kedemoth, on the border of the desert, to the north-west of Kalaat Balua, is to be sought on the northern bank of the Balua, or upper Arnon (see at Numbers 21:13). Mephaath, where there was a garrison stationed (according to the Onom.) as a defence against the inhabitants of the desert, is to be sought for in the neighbourhood of Jahza, with which it is always associated (Jeremiah 48:21). Kedemoth and Mephaath were given up to the Levites (Joshua 21:37; 1 Chronicles 6:64).
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